State Plans To Grow Recycling Industry

Mar 15, 2013

Governor Dannel Malloy is hoping to grow and modernize Connecticut's waste and recycling system, an industry is worth more than $700 million in sales. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, more than 50 percent of materials that are thrown away end up in landfills. With its newly formed Recycling Market Development Council, state officials hope to convert more waste into money and jobs.  Diane Duva works in material management bureau or the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. "The materials that we discard, our cereal boxes can become pasta boxes at a paper manufacturer in Eastern Connecticut. We want to see materials stay in the stream of commerce and not be discarded to disposal."  Connecticut has had mandatory recycling laws for more than two decades. Still, tons of materials from construction debris to food waste could be put to better use and that's what the council hopes it can do. "To connect the people who are currently in the business get connected to the people who have materials," Duva said. The state's recycling business already recovers more than 850,000 tons. But hopes to do better. Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Catherine Smith expects that the new council's efforts will contribute to overall economic growth in Connecticut.  The industry is made up of about 5,000 workers.